Blog Archives

February 5 – 11, 2014

SANTA CRUZ FIRE DEPARTMENT. There’s no dates on the license plates in this photo so I can’t tell the date. The Civic hasn’t changed much, but we did get some new fire engines.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 3, 2014

THE HISTORY OF MUSIC.7 minutes of absolutely brilliantly illustrated musical history.
LIFE, DEATH, MAKE-UP. Just a weird attempt at profoundity

PING PONG. Unlike any match you’ve ever seen!!


The City Council formed the Committee to serve as the lead and clearinghouse of the community engagement effort around the City’s water supply options. The applications to serve on that committee closed on January 15″. No announcements have been made so far as to who has been chosen. The City website says the committee will be made up of…14 MEMBERS i.e.

  • 3 representatives each from environmental and business groups
  • 3 at-large Santa Cruz City residents
  • 1 non-City resident water customer
  • 1 representative from Desal Alternatives
  • 1 representative of the Sustainable Water Coalition
  • 2 members of the City Water Commission

The website goes on to say…” Applications will be reviewed by the City Council Nominating Committee, which will provide the City Council with a list of nominees for review and acceptance in February”. There’s a lot of concern that the Council nominating committee will stack the Water Supply group with a majority of PRO-Desal people. For example, the Sustainable Water Coalition is Cynthia Mathews creation, so we know that representative’s vote will go PRO-DESAL. What will be more controversial will be if the nominating committee will allow representatives from Ecology Action and Save our Shores. Both of those groups receive funding from the City Coffers and you can bet that they wont want to disagree with any City pressures so they too will vote yes or PRO-DESAL We should be hearing soon about those appointments…be advised and be wary about this “stacking”.

REGAL CINEMA 9 MAKEOVER!!! (Beer & Wine too !!!) Big changes in the works for our downtown Cinema 9 theatre. By June they will have replaced every seat in all their nine theatres with large luxury seats. Not only that but they’re going to sell beer and wine and you can take it to your seat!!! Even more than that…they’ll start selling hamburgers and fries. Nicole the Cinema 9 manager told me that she’s been trying hard to get these changes for a long time.

PAY RAISE FOR CITY COUNCIL….WHY??? More than a few voters have been asking just how can this Santa Cruz City Council in particular justify a raise in their pay? What exactly have they done that helps or adds anything to our City?

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AND ABORTIONS. “Row” sent this link to Common Dreams. Read the ” comments” from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Some funny, some crazed. And again, it’s about the competition and the selling of unhealthy junk food. Why are we encouraging our children to sell junk food??

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick states…


Our Board of Supervisors will continue to go through changes in 2014, with elections being held in the 3rd and 4th Districts. Ryan Coonerty appears to be a shoo-in to replace his father in the 3rd district; the 4th District could be more of an election.

Regarding the supervisors most recently elected, Bruce McPherson and Zach Friend, I have to say they are doing OK as is the entire Board. As an Aptos resident, I’m most familiar with the actions taken by 2nd District Supervisor Zach Friend. While we don’t agree on everything (Highway 1 widening, immensity of the Aptos Village plan, and probably Safeway expansion, none of these things are going to happen in the near future). The water crisis we are in will play a big part in large projects like these. We’ll see action on Seacliff’s Neighborhood Park and several road improvements before these things happen, especially the highway widening.

I’m one of Zach’s constituents who agreed with his position against growing medical marijuana in back yard plots. I’m all for medical marijuana purchasable at approved outlets, but home grown backyard cultivation just invites trouble from people looking for free pot to steal. I also agree with Zach on most of his votes on the RTC. I would urge 2nd District residents to contact Zach and let him know what your hot issues are. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary deals with the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors meeting and their water experts report on recycling water. On Tuesday he talks about a large regional water facility handling seawater. LAFCO meets on Wednesday in the Santa Cruz County Building. Extending Santa Cruz city water up the hill to UCSC is not on the agenda for some reason. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission meets Thursday in Watsonville. They’ll be discussing The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network. He warns us about a dangerous land use policy that didn’t work in Palo Alto, but could possibly happen in Santa Cruz if we aren’t aware enough. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. Mr. DeCinzo reports on fly-by marijuana farming. Scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan show us the dis-united states map. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, welcome to the weird and wonderful world of found junk sculpture artist Stephane Halleux, whose work is one of the delights in this year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts movie programs. Don’t miss Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens in the excellent biographical drama, The Invisible Woman, and find out why this week marks (ulp) 50 years of Beatlemania!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

HOLT MURRAY RETROSPECTIVE. Holt Murray was a brilliant metal sculpter who taught many years at Cabrilho College. He had a great sense of humor, and more than anyone else, he introduced me to the world of Opera. There’s a Retrospective Exhibition of his works at the Cabrilho Gallery now through February 21. There is also a reception Thursday February 6, 5:30-7 :00 p.m. After the recption there’s a discussion and film screening of original digital videos by Margaret Stanton Murray in the Art History Forum, VAPA room 1001 on the lowewr campus.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. These stalwart Baroque music lovers open their 40th anniversary season with a concert titled FROM LUTE TO UKE. Their website says, “Our musical tour of 700 years leads from medieval strings to the modern guitar and ukulele and is sure to delight fans of early music and vintage pop alike. This concert features medieval specialist Tim Rayborn, virtuoso of renaissance to romantic plucked strings John Schneiderman, and Ukulele Dick, performing on an array of instruments from the plucked string family. We will close the evening with a celebration of the Baroque Festival’s 40th anniversary. Presented in cooperation with the 2014 Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival. Viva la Guitarra! It happens Saturday, February 8 at 7:30pm ~ UCSC Music Center Recital Hall.

……In order of perfection……

OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS. Someday, somehow I’ll find outwhere and when these animated and live action short films are shown throughout the year. As always some are stunning and have touches of cinematic greatness and some are boring, bad and pointless. Mr. Hublot is one of the great ones and opens the animated program. The digatially animated giraffe and duck who act as emcees for all this animated program are vulgar, gross, unfunny…and require enormous patience just to sit through their miserable bits. Possessions is a Japanese meditation on keeping possessions and isn’t worth mentioning. Feral is supposed to be profound but fails. However Room on The Broom is cute, traditional, and doesn’t set any new artistic standards. Get a Horse is a Disney product and combines 1930’s style animation with current talent, but it’s also sort of brutal, go warned.

OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. Helium is touching, poignant, and deals with a young boy dying in a hospital. The Voorman Problem is also well worth watching, and centers on a guy who claims to be God (maybe he is!!!) An African short That Wasn’t Me is brutal, anti-war and mystifying. Just Before Losing Everything tells us about a battered woman and her kids who are trying to get away from her husband. It’s fast, nervous, and well done but I’m not sure of the point it tries to make. Do I Have to Take Care of Everything is sort of funny but to spend that much time filming, directing, financing it just for a one line joke was way beyond my understanding.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. Zac Efron and Miles Teller are two parts of a trio of GUYS that’s “GUY” all in caps!! It’s about how guys fear commitment, want to drink a lot, and have little or no clue about relating to women. Lots of body part jokes and unconvincing acting and I wouldn’t even suggest renting it.

(from BEST 2 worst)

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. This is from a thoroughly researched book on the secret love affair Charles Dickens had with a very young woman while he was married. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (age 45) and Felicity Jones plays Nelly, the young actress (age 18). Dicken’s chubby, dull wife had 10 children with Dickens. You’ll wonder why Nellie stayed with Dickens, aside from his fame and celebrity standing. It’s a good film, but not a great film.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again a few weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Alfonso Cuaron’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if “so and so” will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, but melodramatic, films.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

JACK RYAN, SHADOW RECRUIT.. Just another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as agood a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this. So is Philip Seymour Hoffman in a very small part, and every serious movie goer will miss him. A tragic waste of one of our greatest actors.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. On February 4 we have Dr. Larry de Ghetaldi president of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz telling us about PAMF and local plans. He’s followed by Ramona Turner the Sentinel’s Street Smarts traffic columnistwho missed the 1/21 appearance. On February 11 Officer Brad Sadek of The California Highway Patrol will tell us about highways and safety. February 18 has retired UCSC Professor Lincoln Taiz discussing his New Yorker interview on plant neurobiology. Then Lisa Jensen (and maybe Christina Waters) and I will talk about this years movies and The Oscars. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at


UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Some Republicans are so ignorant they wouldn’t know how to pour piss out of a boot—even if the instructions were printed on the heel”, Lyndon B. Johnson. “He may be a son of a bitch, but at least he’s our son of a bitch”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “I’m astounded by people who want to “know” the universe when it’s so hard to find your way around Chinatown”, Woody Allen.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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